Prior to 1989, once you received your green card it remained valid permanently. Unfortunately, after 1989, they were valid for only a decade each. In the event you have got one of those cards, you must renew it prior to its expiration. For those who have one of the old green cards, you must renew it since the previous versions aren’t valid any longer. The procedure is quite simple if you know each of the steps.
Why must you renew your green card? A permanent resident card proves that you’re an LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) of the US. When it is expired, you’ll no longer have proof you’re permitted to reside in the United States any longer; this means you will have problems. You won’t just experience trouble re-entering the US when you travel, but the truth is you could also have trouble getting a new job or keeping your existing job. The reason is, a green card is like your work permit.
When ought one to renew a permanent resident card? You need to renew your current green card 6 months prior to its expiration. Even so, you are able to renew it any time during the 6 months prior to its expiration.
What happens if my green card expired already? It is advisable to renew the permanent resident card prior to its expiration; however, if you didn’t remember, or else you did not realize it was about to expire, do not get worried! You’re still able to renew it and there’s no penalty – you won’t have to pay any additional fee for it. You’ll receive a new temporary green card to use.
How does someone renew a green card? You’ll have to find Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You can find a copy of this form at the nearest USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) location or even download it free of charge. Complete it with great care and make sure to double-check that there’s no errors. Be sure you attach a photocopy of your previous green card and also any additional documents you’ll need (for example a photocopy of your marriage license and/or legal form in case your name was changed). Next, mail the application to USCIS and just wait. You’ll receive instructions telling you you have to visit the local US Citizenship and Immigration Services office to complete your biometrics as well as to get a new green card. Biometrics is merely a photo plus some fingerprints. Always take your passport and a few extra passport photographs along with you in case you’ll need to have them!
Just how much should it cost to renew your green card? Right now it will cost you $365 to renew the permanent resident card, that you have to send together with the Form I-90. You might also need to pay an additional $85 to cover the biometrics. All fees have to be paid with a check or a money order written for the US Department of Homeland Security.
What happens if I’m outside the US? If it happens that you are coming back prior to your green card’s expiration, simply wait till you return home, then send in the paperwork. In the event you didn’t depart yet but you realize you won’t return prior to your card’s expiration, submit your renewal application, then pick up the temporary green card prior to heading out. In the event you didn’t renew your permanent resident card prior to going and it will expire, get in touch with the closest United States consulate, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office, or United States point of entry, and then comply with their directions when submitting Form I-90.